Community for Beginning Farmers
The Finger Lakes Collaborative Regional Alliance for Farmer Training (C.R.A.F.T.) brings together established and aspiring farmers to share support and information about maintaining a farm business.
This community meets monthly throughout the growing season at one of several CRAFT Mentor Farms to learn about each farm operation, ask lots of questions, share knowledge, and network with each other.
Skills that are covered during the CRAFT course include farm safety; managing soil fertility; managing crop pests, diseases, and weeds; marketing for farm businesses; record keeping, financial management, and profitability; juggling farming, family, jobs, and fun. Each CRAFT session begins with a two-hour tour of the host farm. Each session features a short farm skill building workshop based on the host farm’s specialty. Previous workshops have included poultry breeding at Kingbird Farm, holistic organic orchards at Good Life Farm, and high-tunnel production at Plowbreak Farm.
CRAFT is a fun and informative way to meet local farmers and get a first-hand look at the development of a sustainable regional food system. Membership is open to all farm interns, employees, aspiring and experienced farmers, including organic, conventional or other. CRAFT membership provides you with:
- Admission to all CRAFT farm tours during the season.
- Participation in a supportive network of experienced and beginning farmers and homesteaders
- Educational benefits for your interns and employees that can help you attract more qualified workers to your farm
CRAFT for 2016 has concluded. Stay tuned for details for CRAFT 2017.